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Volunteering in Argentina is rewarding for more than just the benefit of spending time in a beautiful and friendly country. Volunteers can improve their Spanish language skills, become immersed in local culture in a significant way and can help Argentines rise from the economic crisis of 2001. Many volunteer organizations focus on community development and helping Argentines become self-sufficient in a sustainable way. The country also has a stake in the environment, being the home of the Andes Mountains, some of the world's most visited glaciers, vast, fertile plains and many varieties of wildlife, making volunteering in the environmental sector extremely rewarding.
Education/Youth Outreach: There are many volunteer opportunities for teaching English as well as other subjects including math, science, art and even business. In areas with a high poverty level, mentors are needed for children whose parents are unable to give the personal attention children deserve and require in order to gain important life skills such as cooking, gardening, and completing homework in a meaningful way.
Environmental: Argentina is the second largest country in South America. It spans several geological areas including high snow-covered peaks, glaciers, a wine-region and miles of coastline along the Atlantic Ocean. Help protect these diverse and stunning landscapes through projects that teach sustainable and organic farming, support communities affected by mining, and educating children and adults on living a sustainable lifestyle.
Health/Nutrition: Aid medical staff in undernourished areas, such as Mendoza, in educating the local community on proper nutrition for a healthy lifestyle. Support children from high-risk areas who already suffer from malnutrition by educating, providing health services and organizing healthy activities.
Community Development: Argentina was struck hard by an economic downfall in 2001 and is still in the process of recovering. Help communities get back on their feet by working with children, teaching adult classes on business or doing the behind-the-scenes fundraising and project planning work fundamental to community growth and development.
Argentina is generally considered to be a safe country full of friendly faces. However, it is always important to be careful with oneself and one's valuables while traveling abroad. No vaccines are required to travel to Argentina, but the Yellow Fever immunization is recommended. Drinking the tap water in not recommended, particularly outside of the cities, so be prepared to buy bottled water or sterilize water by boiling, using a filter or adding iodine tablets.
Argentina is as beautiful as it is diverse. Volunteering in this country offers volunteers the opportunity to feel a part of a new community, to truly understand life in Argentina and, of course, to practice their Spanish language skills. There is a wide variety of volunteer opportunities available, so there is something for all interests and skills levels. Most volunteer programs have their volunteers working only during the week so foreign visitors can travel and explore all that this country has to offer on the weekends. If you are interested in improving your language skills and becoming a more culturally literate individual, Argentina is the place for you.
Leah is a world-traveler and regular contributor to FlipKey.com, which offers a range of short-term rentals in Argentina. When she's not writing about traveling and volunteering, Leah works as a teacher in Colorado. Learn more about international rentals on The FlipKey Blog.
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